Defending San Francisco, Herrera calls it unfortunate that plaintiffs would ‘inject confusion and uncertainty into an election that has been underway for weeks’
SAN FRANCISCO (May 26, 2016)—Attorneys for supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign notified City Attorney Dennis Herrera this evening that they will file an emergency request with U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup in San Francisco tomorrow, May 27, for a preliminary injunction in California’s June 7 Presidential Primary.
San Francisco, Alameda County, and state elections officials were sued last week by an unincorporated association of Sanders backers called the “Voting Rights Defense Project,” who together with the American Independence Party and two San Francisco voters leveled an array of allegations in their May 20 civil complaint that Herrera calls wholly baseless. The activists are seeking sweeping injunctive relief in their suit, including provisions to force 58 counties to segregate ballots already cast by unaffiliated voters; to allow “re-votes” by those voters for presidential primary candidates; and to extend the state’s voter registration deadline—which passed on May 23 for eligibility to vote in the June 7 primary—until election day itself.
Voting in the nation’s most populous state has been underway since May 9.
“I think it’s unfortunate—and selfish, frankly—that these plaintiffs would inject confusion and uncertainty into an election that has been underway for weeks,” Herrera said. “San Francisco’s Department of Elections and its employees have been doing an exemplary job, and I’m equally confident that our co-defendants are also meeting or exceeding their legal duties. This lawsuit is without merit, and there is no basis for an emergency injunction. I intend to fight it aggressively.”
Herrera noted that the emergency relief plaintiffs may seek for California’s Presidential Primary in federal court tomorrow may differ from that enumerated in their original civil complaint. Plaintiffs’ counsel represented to Herrera’s office late today that they expected to file their motion for a preliminary injunction with Judge Alsup by noon on Friday.
In a May 24 San Francisco Chronicle report, Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley—who is president of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials—said election-day registration would be impossible this year. California has plans to implement such a same-day voter registration system in 2018, after state officials certify its new voter database.
Plaintiffs’ Counsel Contact Information
Contact information for the attorneys of record for the plaintiffs is:
- William M. Simpich, (415) 542-6809 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and
- Stephen R. Jaffe, (415) 618-0100 or email@example.com.
The case is: Voting Rights Defense Project et al. v. Tim Depuis et al., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Case No. 3:16-CV-02739, filed May 20, 2016.
- Download the Voting Rights Defense Project’s lawsuit against San Francisco, Alameda County and California’s Secretary of State (filed May 20, 2016).
- Download email correspondence between legal counsel (May 16–26, 2016).
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